Boundary Layer Transition at High Levels of Free Stream Turbulence PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author Affiliations
Masaharu Matsubara

Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

P. Henrik Alfredsson

KTH, Stockholm, Sweden

K. Johan A. Westin

Vattenfall Utveckling AB, Älvkarleby, Sweden

Paper No. 98-GT-248, pp. V001T01A063; 6 pages
  • ASME 1998 International Gas Turbine and Aeroengine Congress and Exhibition
  • Volume 1: Turbomachinery
  • Stockholm, Sweden, June 2–5, 1998
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-7862-0
  • Copyright © 1998 by ASME


Transition to turbulence in laminar boundary layers subjected to high levels of free stream turbulence (FST) can still not be reliably predicted, despite its technical importance, e.g. in the case of boundary layers developing on gas turbine blades. In a series of experiments in the MTL-wind tunnel at KTH the influence of grid-generated FST on boundary layer transition has been studied, with FST-levels up to 6%. It was shown from both flow visualisation and hot-wire measurements that the boundary layer develops unsteady streaky structures with high and low streamwise velocity. This leads to large amplitude low frequency fluctuations inside the boundary layer although the mean flow is still close to the laminar profile. Breakdown to turbulence occurs through an instability of the streaks which leads to the formation of turbulent spots. Accurate physical modelling of these processes seems to be needed in order to obtain a reliable prediction method.

Copyright © 1998 by ASME
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